Joshua Wong: “Italy will reduce cooperation with China. Hong Kong risks the end of Xinjiang “- La Stampa


While the darkness dampens the sirens of the steering wheels that have brought many irreducible comrades to the yoke in Beijing, the 24-year-old leader of the Demosisto party Joshua Wong sums up what he considers the umpteenth battle of a long war. We are not dead, repeats the reluctant ex-spokesman of the young people of Hong Kong who became more or less unwillingly an international star to implore a declaration to understand what will happen tomorrow in the streets of the former British colony: «The demonstration today (yesterday for who reads) is just a taste of the massive protests that will precede the law of evil: we must fight for the future of Hong Kong, it is our time ».

How is the situation right now?
Thousands of people took to the streets peacefully and over 200 were arrested, including political representatives. We have shown once again that we are united and will not stop fighting for Hong. Kong. “
The word that rang out in the square is “independence”. Very few had the courage to use it a year ago, during the last wave of protests: it seemed too bold a challenge to heaven and the common mantra was instead the defense of the “one country, two systems” model. What has changed in these months of silence imposed by the coronavirus and why is the demand of the Hong Konges more radical?

“The majority of protesters are calling for democracy and freedom, some groups have called for independence but the common denominator is that nobody wants to end up under the jurisdiction of China. The problem is not the “one country two systems” model but the threat “one country, one system” ».

Last summer, the movement went from a very peaceful phase to a more muscular reaction, with urban guerrilla warfare, against police repression. In the face of the wall raised by Beijing, is there still the risk of a violent escalation that will hold on but then also end up moving the middle class away from the protest?
“Last November, in the district council elections, nearly 80% of the people voted for the democratic camp. A massive response after weeks of tension, even from the middle and upper middle classes. The aspirations of our society, as a whole, are written in that result ».
Hong Kong has clearly spoken out at the polls. But if China, indifferent to the popular will, were to go ahead with the draft of the new security law, will we see other violence?
“Brutality is on the side of the police who banned all sit-ins and demonstrations. People were asking and asking for the opportunity to legally protest and the answer is no. It already happened. This time to deny the authorizations they camped for the excuse of the coronavirus but the pandemic in Hong Kong is over ».

Beijing swears it won’t back down. What do you expect?
“We will try to mobilize more and more people against the law of evil.”
A year ago, the American flag was waving in the square. Do you have confidence in the support of the United States, worried in words for Hong Kong but in the facts committed above all to fighting its cold war against China?
«We ask for international support and not that of a single country. The ICNA is violating and rewriting the rules established by an international treaty on Hong Kong and I would like, for example, that the EU impose sanctions on Beijing in the implementation of trade treaties and insert clauses related to respect for human rights to Hong Kong”.
There is a country, Italy, to which you have turned directly to slow down the commercial collaboration with Beijing to put pressure on Hong Kong. What response did you get from Rome?
“At the end of November I participated in a video conference at the Italian Senate and then Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved an impressive resolution condemning the violence used against the Hong Kong square. I consider it an expression of support for our reasons. Italy has the tools to make itself heard by China “.
Are you talking about the partnership between Rome and Beijing in the “Silk Road” project?
“Exactly. We need pressure. “
Umbrella boys are back in the square. Are you afraid of being arrested again?
«Since last summer, over 8,000 protesters have been arrested for protests against Beijing. I can be arrested again, like everyone else. ‘
So far none of his compatriots, not even the most pessimistic, had imagined a new Tiananmen possible in a world so different from 1989. What do you think now, just over a week after the anniversary of that massacre for which the Hong Kong authorities have banned the square? Are you afraid of Chinese tanks?
«More than Tienanmen, I fear what Beijing has done in Xinjiang. Here, the specter for Hong Kong is Xinjiang ».

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